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Nature Work: Nature Work

Read "Nature Work" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Jason Stein and Greg Ward are two stalwart Chicago musicians who continually stretch boundaries and search for new experiences. Stein, a devotee of the bass clarinet, maintains two trios, Hearts & Minds (with Paul Giallorenzo and Chad Taylor) and Locksmith Isador (with Jason Roebke and Mike Pride), plus his quartet with Joshua Abrams, Keefe Jackson, and Tom Rainey. Ward's alto saxophone (and occasional clarinet) can be heard in his large ensemble 10 Tongues and Rogue Parade (with Matt Gold, Dave ...

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Nature Work Live at BIMHUIS Amsterdam

Read "Nature Work Live at BIMHUIS Amsterdam" reviewed by BIMHUIS

This spring sees the release of the debut album by this new supergroup and the first clips on YouTube are convincing in every way: imaginative, fluid themes by the founders of the group, alto saxophonist Greg Ward and bass clarinetist Jason Stein, and boneshaking grooves by a first-class rhythm section, double bassist Eric Revis and drummer Jim Black. Greg Ward is respected as a saxophonist and composer working with many jazz bands in New York and jny: Chicago, ...

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Greg Ward presents Rogue Parade: Stomping Off From Greenwood

Read "Stomping Off From Greenwood" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

On this CD saxophonist Greg Ward presents a new group, Rogue Parade, which features a front line with two guitarists, Matt Gold and Dave Miller, alongside Ward's alto. Such a configuration, combined with the graffiti-covered walls on the CD cover, suggests this band might work the slippery, interlocking street-funk path explored by Steve Coleman's groups with similar instrumentation. That style is present here, but it's just one of many utilized by Ward and his band . “Metropolis" and ...

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Greg Ward: Stomping Off From Greenwood

Read "Stomping Off From Greenwood" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

"Metropolis," the genre-shifting, stomping, opening track on alto saxophonist Greg Ward's acrobatic sophomore disc, introduces his electric jazz vision with a bristling and nervy rock 'n' roll verve. It's anchored by the sprawling kinetic energy of Chicago's tireless rhythm duo of drummer Quin Kirchner and bassist Matt Ulery, and the cutting clarity and dissonance of guitarists Matt Gold and Dave Miller. With rhythmic atmospherics and reverberant dual six-string manipulations, Rogue Parade (the quintet's official tag) make gutsy Ward ...

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Greg Ward Presents Rogue Parade: Stomping Off From Greenwood

Read "Stomping Off From Greenwood" reviewed by Gareth Thompson

After a stint in New York, saxophonist Greg Ward was lured home to Chicago in 2016 by a project based on Charles Mingus's The Black Saint And The Sinner Lady (Impulse! Records, 1963). Ward's new vision of this record was widely acclaimed, not least for its performance with a ballet company, as Mingus had desired. Around this time Ward began a jamming fellowship, aimed at “those who don't hate, but appreciate." Whether this hate/appreciate referred to race relations ...

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Greg Ward & 10 Tongues: Touch My Beloved's Thought

Read "Touch My Beloved's Thought" reviewed by Mark Corroto

To describe saxophonist Greg Ward's Touch My Beloved's Thought as his magnum opus is to impede his development as a composer. Let's just say for many a jazz artist, if this recording were included in their discography, it would be their signature piece. For Ward, it just represents the possibilities. The backstory to this live recording is Charles Mingus' The Black Saint And The Sinner Lady (Impulse!, 1963), a six-part composition written for dancers. Ward was commissioned to ...

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Greg Ward: Phonic Juggernaut

Read "Phonic Juggernaut" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Greg Ward's trio Phonic Juggernaut can be loud, it also can be fast, but it can never be described as out of control. The twenty-something saxophonist's take on the modern jazz sax/bass/drums lineup adheres to the traditions of jazz, not as a regressive act but as a forward-thinking, innovative sound. This Chicagoan-turned-New Yorker can be heard with drummer Charles Rumback and in Mike Reed's People, Places, and Things, as well as with the electronic outfit Prefuse 73. His ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Greg Ward's Fitted Shards: South Side Story

Read "South Side Story" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Saxophonist Greg Ward's moderately esoteric spin on jazz signals an artist who has traversed diverse paths, including stints with electronica artist Prefuse 73, and stalwarts of progressive jazz, such as drummer Hamid Drake and saxophonist Von Freeman. Here, Ward compiles a textural and hard-hitting modus operandi, largely evidenced on “Step Forward." This piece is dabbled with metal-jazz overtures, spiced by the saxophonist and keyboardist Rob Clearfield's brute force attack.Clearfield multitasks via crunching synth sounds and fluid electric piano ...


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